Wednesday, 21 June 2017

“Cost versus Convenience?” or “Bathing the cats”

One of the main things you have to keep in mind when you’re trying to live the high life on a dime is how much you are actually willing to spend on any given thing. As I’ve mentioned previously, one of my favourite indulgences is a good bottle of wine. Now, I’m not always reaching for the top-shelf vino (I will be posting a couple cheap and cheerful wines on here Friday), but when I do, I can end up spending my allowance very quickly.

The point is, if I’m going to spend my money on one luxury, I have to decide where I can go without, or, at least, with the less convenient option.

This brings me to Monday morning.

I have two lovely cats, Mariah and Ceili (pronounced with a hard ‘C’). Due to a series of unfortunate events and my own belief that cats aren’t complete ding-dongs (they are), Mariah ate something she shouldn’t and ended up throwing up multiple times. Then, she decided to lie down in it. Then, to add insult to injury, Ceili decided to rub herself across Mariah’s vomit-stained front.

So now I have two cats that need to be bathed. If you’ve ever bathed a cat, you will know where this is going. To take the cats to get groomed professionally would cost somewhere between $100-$150. No way! I decided this was a DIY moment. While I knew the experience would not be pleasant, I also thought that the cost far outweighed the convenience. I went to the local pet shop, picked up some cat shampoo and decided to get down to work.

I will mention my cats are very well-behaved. They don’t bite, scratch or generally fight back if you have to groom them. I also (foolishly) thought that since each cat was relatively small, It wouldn’t be a big deal to get them in the bath, washed and out quickly.

Have you ever tried to hold down a soaking wet, 12-pound bundle of terrified cat that was wildly trying to escape?

In the end, I got both cats washed, but not without them getting me completely soaked, them destroying the bathroom, some noises I have never heard (from both the cats and myself) and all three of us pretty well exhausted from the ordeal.

That is not a happy kitty. Poor Ceili.

So, was it worth it?

Let’s compare:

Professional Groomer

Bathing Cats at Home

+ I don’t have to do it / my bathroom stays dry
+ It is being handled by a professional
- Cost: $100-150 for both cats to be groomed
- Cats would be stressed for days. Stress= vomit
- That cost is the same every time I have to have them groomed

+ Cost: $10 for one bottle of shampoo
+ I didn’t have to make the cats travel (stress)
+ I wasn’t inconvenienced by having to drop off/pick up cats
+ Tonnes of leftover shampoo means if they need to be bathed again, I don’t have to spend more money.
+ after cats got over initial shock of bathing, they went back to being themselves
- Soaking wet bathroom
- Danger of getting scratched (I did once)
- Cat-wrangling in the house while drying

So, while there were the same amount of cons, the pros for home-bathing the cats came out way ahead.

Mar was not much better off.

I am using this situation to highlight a larger idea: when it comes down to convenience versus cost, it is very important to weigh the pros and cons against one another. Taking a moment to think about something can shed light on situations you wouldn’t have thought about before. For example, I know my cats travel poorly. Whenever we have taken my cats to my parents’ house they have been exceedingly distressed. Mariah decides to show this stress by throwing up on every carpeted surface (my father now calls her barf-bag). I didn’t want to distress the cats and I definitely did not want to be cleaning up puddles of kitty puke all over my house.

Also, if you are making a convenience buy, where is the money coming from?

Husband and I went down to wine country on a day trip with my in-laws and spent our allowance on fancy food and drink. If we wanted to do that again in the near future we would have to opt for the slightly more challenging, more cost-effective choice.

 It is fine to do those expensive things as long as you are willing to take other responsibilities into your own hands. Weigh your costs carefully and remember that convenience isn’t always the best choice.

What are your thoughts? What do you take the cost-effective route on?


PS – The cats are fine. One is currently sleeping on my leg and the other is asleep in the chair beside me.

PPS – Husband had nothing to do with the bathing. He was at work when I decided to take matters into my own hands. Lucky bugger.


  1. I really enjoyed this post. I always have to think twice before making that call to get food delivered to me, or if it makes more sense cost wise to stop being lazy and go get it myself. I hope the cats are doing well :)

  2. The cats are cool. They forgive quickly

  3. The cats are cool. They forgive quickly